BHUBANESWAR: A day after the tragic bus accident at Manitri near Athmallick in Angul district, Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Ramesh Majhi said carelessness of the driver led to the accident in which 19 passengers lost their lives. More than 30 persons were injured.
Basing on the statements of some injured passengers, the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), in his preliminary report on the incident, stated that the driver was talking on his mobile phone. Majhi, however, said the licence of the driver is in order.
Soon after the incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed the Angul Collector to inquire into the reasons behind the accident.
Meanwhile, Transport Commissioner Chandrasekhar Kumar told mediapersons that steps have been taken to bring down road accidents in Odisha. “The Supreme Court has directed the State Government to bring down the number of accidents in the State by 20 per cent by 2020”, he added.
A meeting of the bus and the truck owners is scheduled on Monday in which several issues, including overloading of passengers, will be discussed. “Apart from this, a decision would be taken to ban drunken driving and talking on mobile phones while driving,” he said.
The Transport Commissioner further said the department has cancelled 25,000 driving licences in the State during the last eight to 10 months. “There is also a proposal for a refresher training during renewal of driving licence,” he said.